First of all, a very happy Chinese New Year to all our Chinese readers, we hope for your good health, good luck and much happiness throughout the coming year.
Surprisingly for non-Chinese, the rat is actually in traditional Chinese legends considered to being quick-witted, resourceful, and smart but lack courage. With rich imaginations and sharp observations, they can take advantage of various opportunities well. As a person who has involved in a few rat hunts, I can confirm that they are all this.
For those that do not realise it, this festival is celebrated by about 1.5 million people in Australia now and here is an article on how to attract Chinese tourists.
Say you have a spare spot (See the orange button above) and you want to set up a register shortcut key for a department so you can press a button to quickly process a department sale. It is even faster with touch but that is another point.
Well, it is easy and quick to do.
1. From the Main Menu, go to Cash Register and then Register Setup.
2. Click on the Quick Links tab.
3. On the layout on the left, click where you want the shortcut to go. You should see the green plus symbol on that square now.
4. In the department list on the right, click the department you wish to add to that location.
5. Click on the Insert at Location button.
6. Click the Save button.
Now the changes should be there.
It looks like now the worst of the bushfires are over. Although most of us were not directly affected by the actual fire, the smoke was everywhere. Although we have all experienced plenty of bushfires, I have never know the smoke to be so bad as this one. We did here what most people did, double-checked that the air conditioners were on at work.
Today almost all the smoke is gone although people today in Queensland told me that there are still problems with the air there. They then asked me if there were any detectors that I knew that could monitor the air quality as I had spoken about it earlier. I thought if they are interested others might be too.
The one we use is Airrater, and although I am not sure how good it is, it seems to give good results. You can get it on both android and from apple.
It is very easy to set up. You put in there, the places that are important to you, eg work, home, etc. and as long as your mobile phone has an internet connection, it will report the air quality in real-time and also you can set it to give you a warning if the air quality in one of those places goes bad.
It is also good if you or someone you care about suffers from asthma, hay fever or some other lung condition that impacts their lives.
I have clients now that are on social media all day. Today any retail business that wants to reach a broader target audience and attract new customers needs to go on social media, particularly if it is not in a centre. A centre will drag people in for you.
That is why often you will see cashiers in small businesses on Facebook on the front counter typing away, answering customer enquires.
Today many of your clients are using social media sites like Facebook frequently throughout the day. If you connect with them on these social networks, you help keep them engaged and interested in your business while they are outside the shop.
It also allows you to get real-time feedback from the people who are most interested in your goods and services. This is vital if only because of the damage now bad reviews can do to your business. A nail parlour near me got a few bad reviews and was begging its customers to say something nice about them because they were losing business as people were reading bad reviews and then not coming.
Getting involved is not hard, try by sharing some cool photos of new stock items, if you have 10 major suppliers they odds are you will get at least one new photo or news item from one of them a day for you to share, then there is also news to share, eg your support for a bushfire appeal, worst case you always have the weather, etc.
This will result in you having a loyal, engaged audience.
If you are thinking of growing your social media presence, you are probably wondering which social network is the best for you. It depends on the specific products you sell, but I would say Facebook first and then ask your customers.
If you want to learn more, click here
Often a supplier will tell you the gross margin on their products. Do not believe it? Do you think you should check?
After all, this is a key indicator in your shop
One big problem here is that in the real world often, this margin they give varies. The other problem is that this margin depends on you getting their price. Maybe in your area, you cannot get this price. Perhaps because you have too much stock you, you need to discount to get rid of some of it? I am sure you can add many reasons why the theoretical margin is not what you get, and it is easy to find out what is the actual margin you are getting.
Go to the menu
Now in sales select the "Discounted Item Sales Summary."
Pick a period, I suggest the last 12 months and now check, I would recommend as a first attempt by the department
Now you will get a detailed report of where you are discounting both by quantity and price.
Knowing which products lines are your most profitable in your shop can lead you to actionable advice.
The problem is monitoring the security camera in shops. Something like this could warn you that a suspicious person has come into the shop or that someone has done something questionable.
Under Beta, it has detected some shoplifters in a Japanese convenience store.
I can see such technology having a dramatic effect on reducing shoplifting. As it uses face recognition, a shop keeper that knew from his tapes that this person is a known trouble maker could get a warning that this person is in the shop. It would also serve shop keepers to sell more as by using face recognition it knows the average spend amount, the number of visits, and frequently purchased items. It could give the shop keeper, the name of many of their clients too.
What we are discussing is that our optical people counting system can already do much of this, if anyone is interested and using or thinking about our optical people counting system we could *NOW* do something like this!
If we get enough interest, why we could do something like this too!
This is our cash register. If you look at the screen, not the girl, it is from a publicity shot that we did what you will see is buttons all over the screen. Also, every one of them is user-definable. What this means is that you can change them, or move them to match exactly what you want it to look like.
I have seen this happen a few times when a big organisation and a small business collide. When the big organisation is the government, they sometimes talk a bit nicer (although not always sometimes they are incredibly rough). If you have not followed the story about "Better mac" what happened is a small burger shop "Burger head." released a burger that they called "Better mac."
It looks like an excellent burger which I am sure is very tasty.
Still, as you can see above, McDonald's did not like the name.
Although it could be argued that the name 'better mac' is different McDonald's burgers name, eg 'big mac'. Also that there is nothing deceptive about the name since I doubt that anyone could be tricked into buying a "better mac" thinking that they were buying a McDonald's burgers, still the burger shop decided in a smart move to cash in on the publicity and comply in changing the name.
I said smart as the amount of money now need for court action is huge and the problem is that in a big organisation, the guy that authorises the legal action does not pay for it. So if you are not careful, you could easily get into court. Once in a court system, it is like medical and doctors bills, it is very hard to get out.
It is not just the financial hit of litigation that can be very damaging to a small business. There is also the matter of their legal fees if you lose plus there is also the time and energy that it takes off.
The other problem is that if you win, what do you win? Do you like doing business with companies that take people to court? Of course, if you lose, it can harm your business’s reputation too.
Perfectionism is defined by the dictionary as "refusal to accept any standard short of perfection."
It is considered as being a psychological condition as perfection, an impossibility in reality. What tends to happen is because nothing is perfect, people do nothing, procrastinate and get depressed as nothing is done. As such it becomes a fast track to unhappiness and often leads to depression.
Why bring it up here in a POS software blog because too often people look at their point of sale system and they know it does much more then what they use it for but talk themselves out of using these extra features because they think it lacks something. As it is not exactly what they think they need they do nothing.
My advice, use what you have.
Do it, once you get going you can always make it better.
It is the first step that is the hardest. The second is not so hard. The third often is easier still.
With us, you have a support network who will give you honest feedback. We can often introduce you to people that you can talk too that are doing and what you are thinking of doing.
It is an excellent marketing idea to create a sale on a specific theme. Doing so will make it easier for people to relate and grasp your promotion.
There are many, and they are all the time. Piggyback on holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father's Day, ANZAC day, etc as themes.
You should also consider piggybacking on *unofficial* holidays.
For example, I am a huge coffee drinker, so an advertisement like this, in a shop that sells coffee is something that I can relate too.
Why not do something similar. Look for the holidays. It does not have to be an official one that relates to your business and use it as a hook to draw people.
Click here for a list of unofficial ones
Microsoft has ended support for Windows 7 today. It is our strong recommendation and just about everyone in the I.T. industry that you now plan to move to Windows 10. In particular, we strongly advise that you do not use a Windows 7 computer for internet banking, email, surfing the net and processing EFTPOS transactions.
If you must use a Windows 7 computer, please be aware that you need a new antivirus package as on Windows 7, your Windows Security Essentials is almost dead. What Microsoft will do is support and rollout malware signature updates for the next three years, but that is only like a third of what it used to do,
Most computers can be updated to Windows 10 at no or little cost but please contact us before attempting to do this as some computers and some of your devices may have problems.
We are the only point of sale system. I know that has data mining so our users are lucky that can drive through their tons of data unaided for free.
With margins so low now in retail, you need every help you can get to gain those few extra percentage points that make or break a business.
Today business is about data and analysing.
Here is one example, SMB has a significant problem with setting up sales targets that are reasonable as who has time to go through every stock item and make a sales budget. Yet if these sales budgets are:
1) If they are too high soon, no one pays attention to them
2) If they are too low, then its no challenge, what people tend to do here is once they make the budget to stop.
What can help drive sales are targets that are challenging and believable?
Well, our clients have an automatic system that can do that now. It is the focus number. It will give you a reasonably good idea of what sort of movement you can expect from every item in your shop. It is a weekly budget.
Here is how you set it up.
It is easy to set up, and use for details click here.
With capable software, you can assess your stock sales better. You can see what you did right and what you did wrong this week.
With Windows 7 going, the question many are asking now is what they can do with their old computers?
What do you do with them and no-one wants them!
What we used to use them a lot was as backup data storage units. Now almost all these and have been replaced by cloud backups which work better and cheaper — my costing of what in a point-of-sale environment, computer costs see here.
Well here is a use that they can be used for is advertising.
Have you noticed that printed signs and posters are now rapidly being replaced by computer screens?
The software for creating a digital signage system used to require expensive specialist software, now there are many software slideshow software available that can do it or if you wish many photographers will make you a professional one at very reasonable prices.
I think it is better to learn to make it yourself and they are now not hard to make, besides being a lot of fun it is advantageous to create one. It is one of those things that is not hard, but you need to spend a few hours to do it as there is much to learn.
What a slideshow software does it take many still photos, which any smart camera now can take and entertainingly displays them one after another one after another in a video.
You will need to be about 5 to 20 minutes, and I would recommend about 5 minutes as each still photo is displayed in retail for about 5 to 6 seconds. Each picture has a gap of about 1 to 2 seconds. This is all very approximate as I find that often each photo demands a different amount of display time. If you are trying to present an intricate image, you may need much more, if you are trying to say, "We have tons of greeting cards," then you may want less time for each image. So as such, you need about 45 photos. Many you can get from the supplier, but I doubt its worth the hassle. Walkthrough the shop after it has a clean. Carry around a black sheet of paper to put products on it and go with your modern smartphone taking high-quality photos, the higher the quality, the better. As you will probably be rejecting about 75% of the images, you take, you need about 160, which should take you about 30 minutes of your photoshoot — trying to take each photo in some reasonable order. It makes it easier later. Otherwise, you will need to sort to get them into some logical order. Now put these images on your computer, and go through and delete the ones you do not want. Be ruthless as you can always go back and get some more. This is one significant advantage an amateur photographer has over a professional photographer; the amateur can go back and get more photos if required.
I do not recommend adding sound in point of sale environments, as it will drive you crazy hearing it repeatedly the same tune although I do admit that it does work and attract people.
Take your video, mount it on the old computer which is somewhere in the shop, and let it play on the old monitor or better still an old digital TV and run your slider show which will advertise your products and services.
You will not be sorry with the results.
When I talked to one of my clients who was close to the fires, what did help a little was that their data was in the cloud. Years ago, we often saw in such emergencies merchant would stay in the shop and do a backup before running. Nowadays although doing the onsite backup is a good idea, the urgency was not there.
With us, unlike many other Point of Sale providers, cloud backup is free!
Data has always been essential to business, in the olden days' Australian bushrangers used to threaten to burn shop keepers books, unless they got paid. It was not a small threat as most shops depended on farmers on lived on credit.
Data is still essential, and although few want to discuss ‘disaster’ in today’s world as these bushfires show your data is under constant threat. Imagine how your business would run without essential banking, customer and inventory data? Computers can be replaced, data cannot be replaced.
There are many advantages for you to do a cloud backup.
1. Access: You get access to your data wherever you have internet access. For example, you can access your company's data from home, overseas on holidays, etc.
2. Reliability: If anything is wrong with your regular backups, you have an emergency set online.
3. Easier to use: Because it is automated, there is less to remember or do, often it can be set up, so it is entirely automatic.
Two significant disadvantages to consider are:
1. The Internet: It will chew up a fair amount of Internet usage. Often people report that it slows down their system. If so, we may need to see what we can do.
2. Size limitations: If your data file grows too big, you may find your backup suddenly stops.
3. Check: You need to check regularly that it is working.
We have put together here a document that can show you how to set up a free cloud backup. Please click here.
What happens is that when you go to your point of sale software and check your selling report to see how things are selling. You will find items that are selling well but are making little profit. The question often raised here, is even accepting that the item is not making much, is it drawing people into your shop who buy other products?
Well, we can help you somewhat. The reason I say somewhat will be explained here.
Go to Register reports.
Now select "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period"
Now put in say a year of sales and ask for the top 100 by quantity.
Outcomes a report with the top sellers for that year.
I have not got the heading here, but I will explain. Look at the envelope
45 is the stock ranking. It is the 45th best selling item in the shop. The 300 is the quantity sold. The next roll is profit, which is $77.45. In comparison, the item on top of it at 44 made the store $1159 profit. Now for many retailers would say to themselves is $77.45 profit enough to justify having this item? Is it enough to even pay the rent, much less the labour and other charges?
Now another issue that most retailers will ask here is, as it does sells well does it bring people into my shop who buy other products? That is very hard to measure, but we can give you an idea.
Go to reports > Sales register > Stock Sales companion sales by period
Now in options put in say last financial year and put in the product ENVELOPE TUDOR....
Now out pops up a report which will give you a listing of all the items that were sold with this item.
Then at the end will be a total.
The last number is the profit of $265.01, which is the total profit of all the items sold with this item.
Now the question is how much of that profit of $265.01 would you have made anyway with or without that profit. That is something you have to decide.
An analyst like me, as a first-level approximation in the absence of any other information, would probably say
A third would have brought something else in the shop to replace the envelope
A third would have left and gone elsewhere
A third would not have brought the envelope but everything else.
So I would say the loss involved in dropping the product is
2/3 x (the actual product $77.45) + 1/3 x ( companion sale of $265.01) = a loss of about $140.
If you can do a better estimate let me know.
Quite a few people have taken on the following offer which is ending soon so if you want to know more, you need to move quickly.
For tyro EFTPOS, however, there was a slight amendment on the offer which I doubt will affect anyone here but here is the latest offer.
PosBrowser integrates seamlessly with Tyro EFTPOS. Experience the integrated difference for your in-store payments today.
Integrated EFTPOS designed for Retail
Save time & money1 with Tyro EFTPOS
Want to know more, please let me know or click here!
1. Tyro does not guarantee any cost savings by opting in for Tap & Save. Savings on eligible transactions processed through the EFTPOS network vary for each business depending on their card mix, transaction volume and amount, industry, and pricing plan. Eligible transactions are contactless debit card transactions less than $1,000. Tap & Save is not available on Special Offer pricing which includes some flat fee simple pricing offers or where you surcharge on debit card transactions as cost savings may not be realised. Yomani CR, Xentissimo and Xenta terminals do not support Tap & Save. For details refer to the FAQs at Tyro.com or call 1300 966 639.
2. 7.6% savings on Merchant Service Fees represents the potential savings of Tyro eligible merchants (calculated as an average), over the period December 2017 to May 2019 and was based on actual eligible transactions processed during this period.
3. Tyro $200 Cashback Offer Terms and Conditions
These Terms and Conditions together with the relevant Tyro Terms and Conditions available at https://www.tyro.com/terms-and-conditions/ (Merchant Terms and Conditions) govern this offer. By providing your details to Tyro Payments Limited (ABN 49 103 575 042) (Tyro), in connection with this offer, you agree to be legally bound by these Terms and Conditions. ‘you’ and ‘your’ mean the person or persons in whose name the account will be held with Tyro.
This offer is available to eligible persons from 9:00 am 01 October 2019 (Sydney time) until 5:00 pm 31 January 2020 (Sydney time) (Offer Period). This Offer is not applicable in conjunction with any other Tyro offer. Tyro reserves the right to extend or withdraw this offer at any time at its sole discretion. If Tyro withdraws the Offer, Tyro will honour the Offer in respect of all New Customers that have their applications approved by Tyro before the Offer is withdrawn, provided that applicants satisfy all of the Eligibility Criteria. New Customers can cancel any live application in the event that Tyro withdraws the Offer.
To be eligible for this offer, the following criteria must be met:
Tyro may, in its sole discretion, determine whether or not the Eligibility Criteria are met.
Provided the Eligibility Criteria are met, $200 will be deposited into the bank account nominated in your application form to become a Tyro EFTPOS Banking merchant ($200 Deposit). $200 Deposit
The $200 Deposit is only payable once per ABN. The $200 deposit will be paid within 90 days after the date you are approved as a Tyro EFTPOS Banking merchant.
Tyro Payments Limited ACN 103 575 042 AFSL 471951 (Tyro) is the issuer of its own financial products. As Tyro does not take into account your personal circumstances, please consider if these products are suitable for you. You can contact Tyro on 02 8907 1700 or tyro.com and access Tyro's dispute resolution process at tyro.com/complaint-resolution-process/. Tyro may pay financial benefits and/or referral fees to our partners.
Want to know more, please let me know or click here!
We all want to get the most out of our business.
So a proposal was given to me by one of my clients about they making an eCommerce website and that they wanted to do it on the cheap, what they wanted are they looking at to make it work. It is a really hard question to answer as you do not know where to start so I decided to look at a commonly used one Shopify.
To make it work you need to go past the Breakeven point which is the spot where the total revenue equals total costs and expenses. Here there is no profit or loss, you "break-even". It is the most commonly used measure to give a feel of just how much is required to make the project viable.
I then went looking at the relevant plans for a Small to medium-size business (SMB) for Shopify. No reason I picked this one, other then it is commonly used although in truth I am not that keen on it at all. I think there are better solutions for money, for a small site eCommerce site look at WooCommerce.
They have three basic plans for SMB and the one you pick would depend on just how much you hope to move online. The problem here as well is that these plans are very limited and if you require anything more then just these plans there are many additional costs but as the proposal is here, they want nothing more then to do it on the cheap so no additional extras. Note this I do not recommend as some of these so-called additional extras, I think are required.
Now I am going to assume that all the templates and setups, they will do themselves and select the free ones. A professional with a lot of experience usually charge about $4,000 for Shopify and gives you a professional site. In my experience, the person who does it himself on his first attempt has something that looks like a first attempt but as in this proposal, we will say these costs are zero.
Now the next problem is I need the margins, so I decided to make a range of margins to give you an idea and you can select where you fit on the scale. I used
10% mainly as I have clients that sell products at these prices.
30% which is often fairly standard
50% which would be a gift item
100% often people in professional services eg accountants, car mechanic etc consider this all profit
Now I went through the plans taking these items and looked at it
Now there is GST to consider here on the account charges, Shopify is a bit confusing here on this but for this analysis, I will just add it in
I included only local Australian credit card rates, as its only a first-level approximation.
I picked the smallest plan, it cost about USD 29. They also have a payment fee of 1.75% + 30 cents (as Shopify costs are listed in US dollars it is 30 cents USD) per transaction.
Today 1 United States Dollar equals 1.44 Australian Dollar. I will assume here no conversion costs and bank fees etc which is not true.
So a 30% item say with a $40 price which I think is a fair typical price for many of my clients, you would need to sell at least 4.8 items as that gives you revenue of about $190.13 then if you take off
Cost of goods $120.99
Payment fee of $3.66
Transaction fee $2.26
Shopify fees $45.94
You have zero the breakeven point. So you need to sell at least one item a week. This is not a big ask and we have clients that are doing much more than that.
Now if we do the same analysis for a range of products margins assuming a unit sale of $40, and I have written a quick spreadsheet to automatically calculate these figures on a range of products, so you can see where you are on the scale. This is the result
If you want a copy of the spreadsheet let me know.
These are absolute minimums as it assumes no returns, no extra costs, none of your or your staffs time, no hidden costs that always appear, it also does not include their optional extras like your domain name, themes, joining their marketing campaigns that you would like to leverage to get customers, apps, Email Marketing software and training courses.
These figures are simply designed for you as a first-level approximation.
If you want to know more, please let us know.
Next week, on 14/January/20 Windows 7 users will start getting pop up reminders from Microsoft like the above that this version of Windows is no longer supported and that its life is up.
If you decide to keep going with Windows 7, we want you to be ready, so we’re reaching out in advance to give you time to prepare.
As Microsoft will no longer provide you with security and software updates, we would recommend that you change your antivirus software. Two I recommend you look at are Avast
360 Total Security
Both are very good and have a good track record for keeping older Windows versions supported.
However, without the monthly Microsoft security updates, you will no longer be protected against Hardware and Operating System attacks and you will be wide open to any new 0-Day attacks which is why we recommend and just about everyone else in the computer industry that if you are still running Windows 7, that you update to Windows 10.
Please note that many computers now that can run Windows 7 can also run Windows 10.
This is said to be the most important KPI in stock control.
What it measures is how much did you actually make on an item? It is a difficult question to know by gut feel particularly when you have thousands of items that you handle.
This is what the chart looks like in theory.
In practice, it is more complex because this chart assumes that you are conscious of what category an item is in. Too often a Low Margin/Low volume item should not be in the shop and is an accident. Also, it is very hard to assess which item is better a High Margin/Low volume item or a Low Margin/High volume item. Also as stock comes and goes, prices and margins change all the time it is very hard to determine by gut feel what is working and what is not.
This is what Gross Margin Return (GMROI) is designed to help you determine. What it does is measure your actual stock items and gives you a financial return figure on your stock? Generally, it is measured in a department or by supplier although I have seen it used for every item in the shop. What it does is tell you where you should look in your shop to get the best return on your orders.
Here is how it is calculated manually which will give you a feel of what it does.
Step #1: Gross Margin in Dollars= Sales x Margin%
So say you sold $1000 last year of an item, your margin was 30%, so your profit is $300.
Step #2: Average stock holding = ((Stock at start of the year) + (Stock at the end of the year))/2
You started the year with $1600 of stock and ended the year with $100 so your Average stock holding = (1600+100)/2 = $850.
Step #3: GMROI = (Gross Margin in Dollars )/(Average stock holding)
GMROI = ($300)/($850) = 0.35
What it tells you is that for every dollar you have invested in stock, you are getting a dollar back to pay all your expenses and buy new stock.
What it tells you is that for every dollar, you invested in that item, you made 35 cents. Of course, no one can maintain a business at that level; I just made a simple example to explain the concept.
If you notice, the calculation itself is almost manually impossible to do for each item. Here are some immediate problem points, items often do not have a steady margin; the 30% is often an ideal that a supplier provides and my stock holding obviously, here varied a lot during the year. Say, for example, my Margin was closer to 25%, so I made $250 and my average stock holding over the year was $100,
My GMROI = ($250)/($100) = 2.5, so I made for every dollar on that item $2.5
The computer can overcome these problems with GMROI
Go to register reports
Select GMROI marked in green
Now select the date you require. I suggest looking at last year, mainly as it is now the time we are looking back.
I selected in this shop confectionery.
Out pops a report that looks like this among other items.
Now in green, the On-Hand figure is zero; the stock ran out, that would be definitely one to look at what happened there and the one marked in red; it has a negative result; this is almost certainly due to data errors which I will discuss in another post.
As these two items show, to get any use from GMROI you need to export the data into excel or OpenOffice (OpenOffice is free and well worth getting if you do not have excel) where you can edit and remove if necessary bad data.
So on the top left-hand side, click export (where the green arrow is), and click excel where it's marked in purple.
Now you have a list to review and edit. That is why it must in my view be in excel otherwise you cannot really do GMROI.
High turnover, high GM% and low stock holding are perfect while low turnover, low GM% and high stock holding are terrible.
However high number does not necessarily indicate that all is good, it often means you are under ordering and do not have enough stock, although sometimes it means that the item does really well only very few people come into your shop to get it. So you are not going to sell much more if you bring in more stock. Maybe look at add on sales for that item instead. Low numbers tend to indicate that you are over-ordering.
Only you know the retail dynamics of your shop and it can help and a detailed system of stock control like ours can keep the customer satisfied and you in business.